Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Miss Rachel Ong
MP for West Coast GRC
Question No. 568
To ask the Minister for Health whether workers involved in the food supply production process, including manufacturing, processing, abattoirs, caterers and logistics, can be prioritised in the COVID-19 vaccination exercise given their role as an essential service in Singapore.
Whilst Singapore continues to make steady progress on our vaccination programme, our supply of vaccines is limited by the ability of the vaccine manufacturers to deliver given the high levels of global demand. As such, we have had to prioritise vaccines, starting with our healthcare workers and those involved in COVID-19 operations. Protecting our vulnerable seniors, who are most likely to be severely affected by COVID-19, continues to be a key priority. Vaccinations for seniors aged 70 years and above and those aged 60 to 69 commenced in February and March respectively. We have also just commenced the vaccination for those aged 45 to 59 years.
The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination had also recommended to prioritise frontline workers at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 infection, such as those in the aviation and maritime sectors, as well as those who are of critical importance to the functioning of Singapore. This includes personnel involved in safeguarding our borders and maintaining law and order, and those ensuring that utilities such as water, energy and telecommunications services are not disrupted. Selected workers who ensure the supply of essential food and household items, such as those involved in the frontline operations of handling, processing and managing our importation and distribution of food supplies and stockpiles, have been included within this pool. As is the case for other organisations/sectors providing essential services, only a proportion of workers employed within the food sector will be prioritised to ensure the continuity of essential services, due to the constraints on vaccine supply.
As more vaccine stocks arrive, we will continue to expand our vaccination programme to more segments of the population, so that all Singaporeans and long-term residents in Singapore will have the chance to be vaccinated by end-2021.